Janjep Carlos, a 41 year old realtor, athlete, traveller and a fitness enthusiast from the Philippines was crowned Mr Gay World 2019 at a Grand Finale which took place at the Cape Town City Hall on Saturday 4th May, 2019. The Grand Finale was the culmination of a jam-packed week of events where contestants from 22 countries participated in a number of activities including a triathlon, team building events in Khayelitsha and a visit to the Pride Shelter.
Janjep is vice president of a realty firm in General Trias, south of Manila. Outside his professional life, he is involved in advocacy work with Mental Health PH, and NGO which spreads awareness about mental health, and particularly depression, within the LGBTQ+ community in the Philippines. Janiep was a clear favourite with the audience, which included a party of 30 supporters who travelled with him from the Philippines. He also won the Best National Costume and Best Written Exam categories.
Mr Spain Francisco Alvarado was the First Runner-up and Oliver Pusztai from Hungary came in third place. Congratulations are due to all 22 delegates who were all winners in their own right.
Mr Eric Butter, President and Founder of Mr Gay World, had this to say about the contest as a whole: “This is not a pageant but a leadership programme where we educate the delegates and the delegates educate us, it’s about enabling each other. It is about removing stigmas, it’s about diversity, breaking barriers, inclusion and sensitisation. It is an opportunity for all 22 countries to share their projects and to network. Bringing the competition to South Africa was a no brainer because we were welcomed back for the 4th time to host Mr Gay World”.
Live entertainment at the Grand Finale was provided by international boy band 5WEST and the sensational Tamara Day. TV presenter and radio DJ Ewan Strydom, MC for the night, provided some additional eye candy. However, many audience members expressed disappointment with the running of the event. The show started late and went on for too long. There were periods with nothing happening on stage and there were problems with the audio-visual. South Africa knows how to put on a pageant and this was not the best we could do.